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National will not let Labour walk over rural NZ

Don Brash


National Party Leader

23 June 2005

National will not let Labour walk over rural NZ

National Party Leader Don Brash has pledged to end the erosion of private property rights and says a National Government will ensure farmers maintain the right to determine who has access to their land and under what circumstances.

He was commenting at the Federated Farmers march on Parliament, in protest at Labour's proposed right-to-roam legislation.

"This is the single biggest issue facing rural New Zealand and Labour knows it. That's why Helen Clark and Jim Sutton are trying so desperately to sweep it under the carpet until after the election.

"But the Budget small print says it all - $2 million set aside for the implementation of the policy. That sends a very clear message - if Labour is re-elected, public access to private land will become a reality.

"Labour is under increasing pressure from its Maori caucus to exempt Maori land from these access provisions. That would be an extraordinary double-standard, even for Labour."

Dr Brash says most farmers are happy for responsible hunters, trampers and recreational fishers to cross their land after seeking permission.

"The protection of private property rights is at the core of any true democracy. National will not allow those rights to be trampled on, nor will we allow the safety and security of stock, lives and rural families to be compromised.

"Helen Clark wants to walk all over rural New Zealanders. National will not let that happen."

Ends

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